Monday 29 November 2010


In the foreground, a building is being brought to the ground, naked except for a forlorn sign offering bargains on long since departed furniture stock. Behind, the giant Tour Courcellor is getting dressed up for a new decade. A curious contrast, but one which reminds us of a simple fact. In all construction there is first destruction.

The Tour Courcellor in Levallois has been an imposing hulk alongside the railway lines running into Saint Lazare since the 1960s. A remnant of the time when the town was Communist-led, it's clothes, dripping with asbestos, were no longer in vogue and are now being replaced.

Photo: raptor974 (Paris Skyscrapers forum)

Off comes the concrete and cladding, on goes shiny blue glass. At its feet, the smaller neighbours had no offer of a new wardrobe, and will simply be replaced by brighter, lighter units, clearly contemporary but not built to last.

The result is an artist's impression, rendered digitally perfect. Blue skies, happy people, fast cars. Yesterday was old hat. Doesn't everything look better dressed in the emporer's new clothes?


Owen said...

Ah, the emperor's new clothes, one of those stories we learn as children, but which remain pertinent throughout our lives...

There was rather alot of asbestos around Paris, and France was rather slow to wake up... Jussieux, for example.

PeterParis said...

Today we consider the architecture from the 60's and 70's as a total failure - with a few exceptions. What will our kids and grankids think about today's architecture? How much will they leave for future generations? Maybe dress / hide them with a third "emperor's new clothes"?

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